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P.E.I. man with childhood 'marred by abuse' gets conditional discharge for domestic assault

Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island.
Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island. - File

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A horrific childhood “marred by abuse’’ does not excuse — but does help explain — the domestic assault by a young Aboriginal man, his lawyer told a provincial court judge.

“This is truly one of the saddest things I’ve ever read,” Alanna Taylor said of the Gladue report prepared on 22-year-old Quinn Labobe in his domestic assault case.

The Gladue report is a pre-sentence or bail hearing report, usually prepared by Gladue caseworkers at the request of the judge, defence counsel or Crown attorney.

These reports contain recommendations to the court about what an appropriate sentence might be and include information about the Aboriginal person’s background such as: history regarding residential schools, child welfare removal, physical or sexual abuse, underlying developmental or health issues, anxiety, or substance use.

The report for Labobe detailed an incredibly difficult home life that had him both endure and witness great verbal, physical and emotional abuse.

He witnessed two of his brothers overdose. His mother struggled with substance abuse.

Taylor told the court Tuesday Labobe was just a boy when he lost a “good and kind man” he called his father.

He struggled. He stopped going to school. He moved out of home for a time.

Provincial Court Judge John Douglas put considerable weight on the Gladue report in granting a conditional discharge.

The report, noted Douglas, “paints a very sad picture of your background.”

The judge said he did not feel it was contrary to the public’s interest to impose a conditional discharge even though this is a domestic assault case.

Douglas told Labobe he must follow the direction of his probation officer, which might include participation in a healing circle among other actions to assist him in moving forward in a positive manner.

Taylor noted her client pleaded guilty to assaulting his then girlfriend at the first possibility, does not have a prior record, and is described as a very good worker who acted out of character by committing assault.

Labobe must pay $100 surcharge to the victims of crime fund and was ordered not to have contact with the victim unless approved through his probation officer.

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